Nov 28, 2012 8:00am PST
republican senators and they are susan collins of maine and bob corker of tennessee. if you were with us yesterday you'll remember that her bid to set the record straight with senators john mccain and lindsay graham and kelly ayotte could hardly have gone worse. they were more inflamed about rice's early public comments about the benghazi, libya attack than they had been before that meeting. cnn's dana bash has been watching all of this prenomination confrontation drama and joins us now to talk about this. i know you're trying to wrangle an interview and make sure you catch the senators as they emerge from the meetings. dana, it might sound to some as though some of the critics of ambassador rice feel differently about what they're criticizing. they don't all seem to be in lock step or at least have the same complaints. >> reporter: that's true. no question that there are different levels of issues that senators are upset about. i have to tell you the reason i'm on the phone now is because i'm waiting for a very important meeting that susan rice is having as we speak to wrap up and that
Nov 28, 2012 9:00am PST
more republican critics. one of them, susan collins, says she's still troubled by the way that the events have unfolded. i want to return to dana bash. it was surprising, actually, when we heard senator collins come out to the microphones. this is a moderate. this is someone who susan rice perhaps might have had a friend or an ally and really she was very, very hard on her in terms of the explanation. what happened in that meeting? >> reporter: well, according to senator susan collins, she didn't get the answers that she was looking for. she said she still has a lot of unanswered questions. it's really important to understand how significant susan collins is in this potential process. she isn't nominated for secretary of state, nobody is, but she's still considered to be a leading contender and that's part of the reason why she's been coming up in a really unusual way, frankly, making the rounds and trying to effectively lobby senators that she didn't do anything that wrong even before she's nominated. but the reason why susan collins is so important, she's one of the few remaining
Nov 28, 2012 11:00am PST
susan collins was making. i want to move on and just talk about the president. we haven't seen president obama say, obviously, outright, she is my top pick. but we saw her really sort of -- saw him vehemently defending her recently. let me replay that. president obama. >> for them to go after the u.n. ambassador, who had nothing to do with benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous. >> tell me about their background. they go back to his 2008 election? >> they go back even further. she was an adviser to him when he was a senator from illinois. and it goes back, tony lake was his -- the former national security adviser, democrat, in the clinton administration, and he sort of introduced those two. so she has been probably along with tom donilon, the people really worked with first when he took an interest in these issues. >> she has some sharp elbows. you write about this in your piece, just this month, which apparently one of her favorite words is a word i cannot say right now on television.
Nov 28, 2012 6:00am PST
susan collins and bob corker and certainly hopes that today's closed door meetings go better than yesterday's. she seemed to make those angry lawmakers even angrier about the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in libya. >> we are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before. >> she misled the american public. i think that she would say that. she would have to say that. >> white house responded by ratcheting up the attack on republican critics and their motives. >> the focus on, some might say obsession on, comments made on sunday shows seems to me and to many to be misplaced. >> cnn's dan lothian is at the white house. so, dan, is it even worth -- is it even worth the president nominating susan rice? because there just doesn't seem to be any meeting of the minds about her on the republican side. >> reporter: you're right. i guess it's always possible that the woit house could give up the fight on her but also possible is that if the president believes she is the right person for tha